Can you imagine what it’s like to be in fear of your life from your partner? To be hit, burned, punched and told you’re ugly and worthless on a regular basis.
Can you even begin to imagine how it must be to have been sold into slavery as a child, brought to the UK as a domestic slave and never to have had a day off work in your life? Can you imagine never having had a moment of fun for yourself, to have only slept on the kitchen floor, and to be beaten if you raise your eyes when spoken to by your ‘owner’?
Maybe you can imagine the trauma of being told you have terminal cancer, and how it might feel to lose your breasts, your hair and your dignity as you’re poked and prodded and put into machines.
Now imagine you can help to give women who have suffered such trauma some fun in their lives – dancing to lively music, shaking their shoulders, swinging their hips and laughing as they shimmy and sway in the company of other women just like them.
We are truly thrilled to announce that in July 2017 Company of Dreams began taking free bellydance classes into women’s refuges, hospices, and organisations supporting victims of slavery, trafficking and sexual violence.
The response has been amazing!
The women are so excited and so happy to be bellydancing. And the managers have told us that what we’re doing is totally unique – that they’ve been looking for something like this for years, but there’s nothing out there. They say that just to bring even an hour’s joy to women who have suffered so much will make an enormous difference to their lives.
But we need your help!
We desperately need funds to help us do this vital work. In June we held our first fundraiser – a gala dinner in Charlotte’s home village in Kent. We raised £2,000 to help us start the work, but if we are to continue we have a major fundraising job to do! This is why, in September we will be joining a global fundraising challenge with charities around the world to raise funds for our work through international charity platform Global Giving. And, during August and September, bellydancers will be doing some wonderful things to raise money for our fundraising challenge.
- On 23 September, London bellydancers Saffron and Sophia will climb Mount Snowdon in bellydance outfits to raise sponsorship for our fund! (sponsor them here)
- On 17th September, we’re planning a sponsored shimmy relay in Regent’s Park (exactly at Marylebone Green) at 12.30pm
- On 17th September, we’re also holding a glamourous Cocktails and Rhinestones event at the Mezcaleria bar in Wahaca restaurant, 19-23 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1RL at 2.30pm. We will be asking bellydancers to donate costumes and props to be auctioned in aid of the charity. Come along, meet your friends and pick up a designer bargain!
- watch out for our hashtag #bellydanceforjoy on social media
We’re going to have fun and we’d love you to join us!
Please support these fabulous challenges and events, or why not hold a fundraising event of your own? If would like to help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
YVETTE COWLES MEMORIAL FUND
And in memory of the wonderful Yvette Cowles, today we are also launching a very special fund, specifically to take bellydancing classes into hospices. This was a project that was very dear to Yvette’s heart and she was really looking forward to being involved. Please read more here